AMRITSAR: Pakistan’s 15-year-old Hindu girl Mehak on Thursday retracted her earlier statement and told a local court that she neither wanted to live with the Muslim man Ali Raza Machi, whom she had married, nor she wanted to embrace Islam. She pleaded to be sent back to her parents’ house and be allowed to practise Hinduism.
Mehak’s counsel Rajesh Naraindas Kapoor told TOI over phone from Pakistan that Jacobabad’s second additional judge Gulam Ali Kansaro recorded her statement in his chamber “since a large number of maulvis were present inside and outside the court”.
After appearing in the court on Thursday, he said Mehak told the court that it was by mistake that she had recorded her earlier statement in the court on January 21, wherein she had stated that she had embraced the Islam and married Ali Raza out of her own will.
“Mehak told the court she didn’t embrace Islam and she didn’t want to live with Raza. She said she wanted to go to her parents’ house and practice their religion,” said Kapoor. The lawyer claimed she and her family were facing threats when she had recorded her statement on January 21.
Daughter of one Vijay Kumar, who lives and runs a medical store in Jacobabad town in Sindh province of Pakistan, the girl was reportedly abducted on January 15.
She was allegedly forcibly married to Raza, which sparked outrage among the Hindu community. Various liberal Muslim groups too had joined the minority community in taking out a protest march demanding restoration of the girl to her parents.
On the court’s order, Mehak’s ossification test was carried out, which determined her age to be only 15 years and eight months. Kapoor said she was was sent back to Dar-ul-Aman in Larkana and the court would give its verdict in the matter on Friday.
He said the court had also video recorded the girl’s statement to avoid any confusion in future.